Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE, was an eccentric British broadcaster and disc jockey best known for his BBC television show, Jim'll Fix It, and his extensive charity work. Born in October 1926, he became a disc jockey on Radio Luxembourg in 1958 which led to work on Tyne Tees Television and finally, the BBC. He was both the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops. Over several decades, and until his death in 2011, he raised millions of pounds for charities and hospitals including Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990. In September 2012, an ITV investigation which alleged that Jimmy Savile had sexually abused underage girls led to Scotland Yard launching a formal criminal investigation into historic allegations of child sex abuse by Savile "on an unprecedented scale" over four decades.
Briefs, October 26, 2012
Number of victims in Savile abuse case soars
LONDON - Police investigating alleged sexual abuse of young girls by the former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile said they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry involving some 300 victims. "It's quite staggering," said inquiry leader, Commander Peter Spindler. He said all bar two of the potential victims were women and the vast majority of alleged offences involved Savile, who died last year. Police had spoken to 130 victims to date and recorded 114 reports of sexual assault or serious sexual assault, mostly against Savile. Reuters
British troops killed in 'friendly fire'
KABUL - British troops killed two of their own soldiers in a 'friendly fire' incident in Afghanistan while two American soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan ally, Afghan and international military sources said. A Helmand police spokesman said the British deaths were due to a mistaken belief by a British patrol that they were under fire from insurgents - while the shooting actually came from a second British patrol. AFP
Sandy hits Cuba after roaring across Jamaica
MANZANILLO - Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern Cuba, where residents boarded over windows and cleared drainage gutters ahead of the strengthening storm that had roared across Jamaica and left two dead in the Caribbean. The US National Hurricane Centre said Sandy, which had strengthened to a category 2 hurricane, was moving north at 30km/h with maximum sustained winds of 165km/h. AP
Berlusconi will not lead his party into elections
ROME - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed he would not lead his People of Freedom party in next year's election, ending months of speculation about his political future. The media magnate, 76, said this month that he might not stand if withdrawing his candidacy could help centrist and centre-right parties form a "moderate" bloc. Reuters
Sweden prepares for summer royal wedding
STOCKHOLM - Another royal wedding beckons in Europe: This time it is Sweden's Princess Madeleine who is getting ready to tie the knot. Madeleine and her American-British boyfriend Christopher O'Neill announced their engagement on the royal palace website. At 30, Madeleine is the youngest of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia's three children, and is fourth in line to the throne. The wedding will take place next summer. AP
Fritzl divorces wife over lack of jail visits
VIENNA - Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who fathered seven children with his own daughter in a home-made dungeon, has divorced his wife of 55 years because she has never visited him in prison, a report said. Rosemarie Fritzl can now no longer draw on her 77-year-old ex-husband's pension, Austrian News said. Fritzl kept their daughter Elisabeth prisoner in their basement for 24 years, raping her thousands of times. AFP